Ahmadinejad in Cairo: Swan Song for a Lame Duck?

From MEI Editor's Blog Tue Feb 5 2013, 15:52:00

For the first time since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, an Iranian President is in Cairo. Mahmud Ahmadinejad has already met with President Morsi and the Sheikh al-Azhar, and thus is ending years of open hostility, suspended relations, and mutual exchanges of accusations. Everyone is calling it a historic visit and, of course, it is, in that no Iranian leader since the Shah has been welcome in Egypt.

But despite diplomatic niceties, this is no massive geopolitical shift. The Iranian Preaident is getting lectured about Syria by both Morsi and the Sheikh al-Azhar, warned against adventurism in the Gulf, and told not to try to spread Shi'ism in the Arab world. (It hasn't been reported whether Ahmadinejad has brought up the plight of Egypt's small Shi'ite population.)

Meanwhile Morsi is getting flak from the Salafis, who apparently consider any fraternization with a known Shi'ite to be beyond the pale.

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